WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao is open to the idea of fighting in Dubai.
According to Gulf News, Pacquiao was speaking at the Dubai Sports Council on Thursday as he prepares to headline this weekend’s Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) event at Hamdan Sports Complex.
Pacquiao has been out of the ring since July, when the 40-year-old boxer turned back the clock to win a twelve round split decision over undefeated Keith Thurman for the WBA strap.
One possible opponent for a bout in Dubai is former sparring partner, Amir Khan.
Khan, a former world champion and Olympic silver medal winner, has been chasing a fight with Pacquiao for several years.
Pacquiao mentioned the recently opened Coca-Cola Arena as a potential venue for the bout. Khan recently fought in Jeddah, where he dominated and stopped undersized former champion Billy Dib.
“I’m planning for next year; trying to make it for next year with a possible opponent. Especially Amir Khan wants to fight me. We will talk again. It would be a good fight," Pacquiao told The National.
Two years ago, the two boxers had a deal to fight each other in the Middle East, but the financial backers were unable to provide proof of funds and the contest quickly fell apart.
And then earlier this year, Khan claimed to have finalized a deal for a Pacquiao bout for November 8 in Saudi Arabia - and the Filipino's team quickly rejected that information. Khan would late state that he was given false information.
“We can discuss that, a fight between us. I have a commitment for my next fight - one fight only. But after that we can talk. No problem," Pacquiao said.